Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Acting Nigeria High commissioner Ambassador N Dozie at the The Best Of Nigeria Event at Excel in London

Monday, November 1, 2010WHEN: 8:30 a.m.
WHAT: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) discussion on "The Navy's Approach to the Defense Department's Savings and Efficiencies Initiative." Speakers: Maren Leed, director and senior fellow of the New Defense Approaches Project
WHERE: CSIS, 1800 K Street NW, B-1 Conference Level, Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: Andrew Schwartz, 202-775-3242,; web site:
WHEN: 9:00 a.m.WHAT: The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI); and the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) Conference on "Regional Security in East Asia: Sustaining Stability, Coping with Conflict, Building Cooperation?":- 9 a.m.: Maj. Gen. David Bockel, Executive Director of ROA; and Harvey Sicherman, President of FPRI, deliver opening remarks- 1:15 p.m.: Aaron Friedberg of Princeton University, delivers remarks on "U.S. Security Interests: Aims and Challenges in a Evolving Asia"- 4:30 p.m.: Closing RemarksWHERE: ROA, One Constitution Avenue NE, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Alan Luxenberg, 215-732-2774, ext 105,;%20and%20the%20Reserve%20Officers%20Association%20(ROA)%20-%20Conference%20; web site: NOTE: Register online: 12:00 p.m.WHAT: The Women's Foreign Policy Group Discussion on "Leading a Global Corporation." Speakers: Anne Mulcahy, former Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation; and Bianna Golodryga, co-anchor of "Good Morning America Weekend Edition"WHERE: The Four Seasons Hotel, 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-884-8597,; web site: NOTE: Registration required.WHEN: 12:00 p.m.WHAT: The Library of Congress (LOC) Lecture on "Hope for America: Performers, Politics and Pop Culture." Speaker: Alan Givenson of LOCWHERE: LOC, Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-707-9203; web site: WHEN: 12:00 p.m.
WHAT: Center for Global Development and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies present a Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar on
“How Large is the Government Spending Multiplier? Evidence from World Bank Lending.” Speakers: Aart Kraay, World Bank; and Antonio Spilimbergo, International Monetary Fund
WHERE: Center for Global Development, 1800 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Third Floor, Washington D.C.
CONTACT: Kaci Farrell can be reached at 202.416.4081; web site:
WHEN: 2:00 p.m.WHAT: Media Briefing on Status Update on the 2010 Census. Speaker: Census Bureau Director Robert Groves.WHERE: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 301-763-3030;; web site: NOTE: Journalists who cannot attend can join a conference call. Call-in, 888-603-8938; passcode, 2010 CENSUS. A live webcast also will be available: WHEN: 2:30 p.m.WHAT: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Discussion on the national HIV/AIDS strategy, a comprehensive plan for fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. Speaker: Jeffrey Crowley, Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy and senior adviser on disability policy at the White HouseWHERE: CSIS, 1800 K Street NW, B-1 Conference Level, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Andrew Schwartz, 202-775-3242,; web site: Credentialed media must RSVP to 5:30 p.m.WHAT: The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) Bradley lecture on "Writing the History of Conservatism." Speakers: Arthur Brooks of AEI; and Patrick Allitt of Emory University.WHERE: AEI, 1150 17th Street NW, Wohlstetter Conference Center, 12th Floor, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Veronique Rodman, 202-862-4871,; web link: Register online: 6:00 p.m.WHAT: The George Washington University (GW) Discussion on the eve of the 2010 midterm elections to search for clues to election outcomes in the latest Politico-GW battleground polls. Speakers: Democratic pollster Celinda Lake; Republican pollster Ed Goeas; Jim VandeHei of Politico; and Christopher Arterton of GWWHERE: GW, 805 21st Street NW, Jack Morton Auditorium, First Floor, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Emily Cain, 202-994-3087,; web site: NOTE: Media should RSVP to Emily Cain.

************************************************************Tuesday, November 2, 2010WHEN: 11:45 a.m.WHAT: The Urban Institute Discussion on "Challenges for New Governors: Healing Battered Budgets and Employment Woes." Speakers: Robert Lerman, institute fellow at the Urban Institute; Edward Montgomery, dean of Georgetown Public Policy Institute; New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch; Kim Rueben, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center; Raymond Scheppach, executive director of the National Governors Association; and Margaret Simms, institute fellow at the Urban InstituteWHERE: Urban Institute, 2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-833-7200; web site: WHEN: 12:00 p.m.WHAT: The George Washington University (GWU) Elliott School of International Affairs Book discussion on "Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World." Speaker: Author Nir Rosen, Iranian-American journalistWHERE: GWU Elliott School, 1957 E Street NW, Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-994-8025; web site: RSVP online: 12:00 p.m.WHAT: The United Nations Development Team (UNDP) Discussion on "Iraq's Development Challenges." Speakers: Christine McNab, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General; John Desrocher, Director of the State Department's Office of Iraq Affairs; Leslie Campbell, Regional Director of Middle East and North Africa at National Democratic Institute; and Frederick Tipson, Director of UNDP/WashingtonWHERE: University of California Washington Center, 1608 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Sarah Jackson-Han, 202-331-9130,; web site: WHEN: 10:45 a.m.
WHAT: Center for Global Development discussion on “What to Watch for at the Seoul G-20 Summit.” Speaker: Lawrence MacDonald, Vice President, Communications and Policy Outreach, Center for Global Development.
WHERE: KORUS House, 2370 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington D.C.
CONTACT: Adam Wojciechowicz, or 202-587-6168
NOTE: RSVP: Contact Mr. Wojciechowicz.
WHEN: 2:00 p.m.WHAT: The National Endowment for Democracy's (NED) Center for International Media Assistance Book Discussion on "Winds from the East: How the People's Republic of China Seeks to Influence the Media in Africa, Latin America, and the Southeast Asia." Speakers: Authors Douglas Farah and Andrew Mosher; Deborah Brautigam of American University; and Louisa Coan Greve of NED.WHERE: NED, 1025 F Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-378-9700,; web site: NOTE: RSVP to with your name and affiliation by November 1. WHEN: 2:00 p.m.WHAT: The SETA Foundation for Political and Social Research Discussion on "Has Turkey Lost Europe? The Ankara-Brussels Relationship after Five Years of Accession Negotiations." Speakers: Juliette Tolay, fellow at the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund; F. Stephen Larrabee, corporate chair of European security at the RAND Corporation; and Nuh Yilmaz, Director of the SETA FoundationWHERE: SETA DC Conference Room, 1025 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1106, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Natalie Lopez, 202-223-9885,; web site:
WHEN: 3:00 p.m.WHAT: Foreign Press Center (FPC) Briefing on “Election Day Landscape – Forces at Play and Possible Outcomes.” Speaker: Jerry Hagstrom, Senior Editor, National Journal.WHERE: FPC, National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Suite 800CONTACT: Miriam Rider at or 2020-504-6315; web site: NOTE: RVSP to above contact or the FPC Facebook page at:; One-on-one interviews are available WHEN: 4:15 p.m.WHAT: Foreign Press Center (FPC) Briefing on “The New Congress and the Obama Administration.” Speaker: John Fortier, Research Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)WHERE: FPC, National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Suite 800CONTACT: Miriam Rider at or 2020-504-6315; web site: NOTE: RVSP to above contact or the FPC Facebook page at:; One-on-one interviews are availableWHEN: 5:30 p.m.WHAT: Foreign Press Center (FPC) Briefing on “Latest Polling Results.” Speaker: John Zogby, pollster, Zogby InternationalWHERE: FPC, National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Suite 800CONTACT: Miriam Rider at or 2020-504-6315; web site: NOTE: RVSP to above contact or the FPC Facebook page at:; One-on-one interviews are availableWHEN: 6:00 p.m.WHAT: The George Washington University (GWU) Elliott School of International Affairs Discussion on "Fighting Corruption in the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." Speakers: Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq reconstruction; and Stephen Biddle, senior fellow of defense policy at the Council on Foreign RelationsWHERE: GWU Elliott School, 1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-994-8025; web site: 7:00 p.m.WHAT: The Sunlight Foundation holds an "Election Night" event to follow the money trail for all midterm congressional seats as the races are called. Speakers: Ellen Miller, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation; Bill Allison, Editorial Director of the Sunlight Foundation; and Paul Blumenthal, senior writer at the Sunlight FoundationWHERE: 1818 N Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Liz Bartolomeo,, 202-742-1520 ext. 226 NOTE: The event will be streamed live online:
******************************************************Wednesday, November 3, 2010WHEN: 8:30 a.m.WHAT: Amplify Public Affairs Program on "Health Reform After the 2010 Election: Assessing the Viability of Health Insurance in the Aftermath of the Mid-Term Elections":- Robin Strongin, President and CEO of Amplify Public Affairs, delivers welcoming remarks- Former Rep. Nancy Johnson, R-Conn.; Dan Gerstein, Forbes columnist; and Julian Pecquet, health care reporter at the Hill, participate in a session on "Inside the Beltway: Health Reform and the Election: An Analysis"- Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters; Leslie Norwalk, former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator; Robert Bender, partner at Aronson and Company; and Kristina Bouweiri, CEO of Reston Limousine, participate in a session on "In the Trenches: Who Will Buy What From Whom"WHERE: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Murrow Room, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-263-2900 NOTE: Register online: 12:00 p.m.
WHAT: Women in International Security (WIIS) at Georgetown University; the State Department's Office of Global Women's Issues; The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University; the International Civil Society Action Network; The Institute for Inclusive Security; The World Bank; Institute for the Study of Diplomacy; Georgetown University; Women for Women International; Peace X Peace; and the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area hold a "Women and War" conference, November 3-5.
-- 9 a.m.: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen; Melanne Verveer, U.S. ambassador at large for global women's issues; Netherlands' Ambassador to the United States Renee Jones-Bos; Margot Wallstrom, special representative on sexual violence in conflict at the United Nations; Assistant VA Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs L. Tammy Duckworth; and Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Rule of Law and Humanitarian Policy Rosa Brooks deliver remarks on "Women and War"
WHERE: Ritz Carlton, 1150 22nd Street NW, Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: Lauren Sucher, 202-429-3822,; web site:
NOTE: This event runs November 3-5 and a RSVP is required to attend this event.
WHEN: 12:00 p.m.WHAT: American University (AU) Discussion on "2010 Midterm Election Analysis: Causes, Characteristics and Consequences." Speakers: Danny Hayes, assistant professor of government at AU; Jennifer Lawless, Director of Women and Politics Institute at AU; Jan Leighley, professor of government at AU; Dotty Lynch, executive in resident at the AU School of Communication; Candice Nelson, Director of AU's Campaign Management Institute; and James Thurber, Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential StudiesWHERE: AU, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Kay Spiritual Life Center, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-885-5950;; web site: NOTE: Media should RSVP to Maralee Csellar at 202-885-5952 or 2:00 p.m.WHAT: Washington Foreign Press Center (WFPC) Briefing on “Review of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) Observations on U.S. Midterm Elections. Speakers: R. Spencer Oliver, Secretary General, OSCE PA and Joao Soares, President Emeritus Parliament Member, Portugal.WHERE: WFPC, National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Suite 800CONTACT: RSVP to Jean Duggan at or 202-504-6314; web site:; You can also RSVP to Facebook at WHEN: 4:00 p.m.WHAT: The Woodrow Wilson Center (WWC) Discussion on "Revisiting History: North Korea and Nuclear Weapons." Speaker: Jonathan Pollack, professor of Asian and Pacific Studies at Naval War College.WHERE: WWC, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-691-4000; web site: WHEN: 6:00 p.m.WHAT: The Middle East Institute (MEI) holds a 64th annual conference on "Rethinking a Middle East in Transition":- 6 p.m.: President Bill Clinton delivers a keynote address during a banquetWHERE: Grand Hyatt, 1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-785-1141; web site: NOTE: Register online:
**************************************************Thursday, November 4, 2010WHEN: 8:45 a.m.WHAT: The Middle East Institute (MEI) holds its 64th annual conference on "Rethinking a Middle East in Transition":- 8:45am-9:00am: Opening Remarks: Wendy Chamberlin- 9:00am-10:30am: US Middle East Policy in the 2nd Half of the Obama Term: Amb. Edward Djerejian, Baker Institute; Joost Hiltermann, International Crisis Group; David Makovsky, Washington Institute on Near East Policy; Suzanne Maloney, Brookings; Moderator: Amb. Barbara Bodine, Princeton Univ. - 10:45am-12:15pm: New Approaches to Non-State Armed Actors: David Kilcullen, Center for a New American Security; Robert Malley, International Crisis Group; Peter Neumann, King's College London; Mitchell Reiss, Washington College; Moderator: Roger Hardy, Woodrow Wilson Center- 1:45pm-3:15pm: Shifting Regional Dynamics: Turkey, Israel, Iran and the Arab States: Amb. Itamar Rabinovich, Tel Aviv University; Omer Taspinar, Brookings; Shibley Telhami, Univ. of Maryland; Alex Vatanka, Middle East Institute; Moderator: Geneive Abdo, Century Foundation- 3:30pm-5:00pm: Reevaluating US Policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan: Hassan Abbas, Harvard University; Stephen Biddle, Council on Foreign Relations; Brian Katulis, Center for American Progress; Paul Pillar, Georgetown University; Moderator: Caroline Wadhams, Center for American ProgressWHERE: Grand Hyatt, 1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-785-1141; web site: NOTE: Register online: 9:00 a.m.WHAT: CQ-Roll Call holds an "Election Impact" conference to examine the outcome of the elections and the implications they will have in 2011 and beyond. Speakers: Thomas Mann, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute; Morton Kondracke, executive editor at Roll Call; Carl Hulse, chief congressional correspondent at the New York Times; David Chalian, political editor at PBS NewsHour; G. William Hoagland, vice president of public policy at CIGNA Corporation; Carroll Doherty, associate director of editorial at the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press; Ken Strickland, Senate producer at NBC News; Scott Lilly, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress; and Doug Pinkham, President of the Public Affairs Council.WHERE: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Karen Gaither, 202-248-5277,; web site: NOTE: Credentialed media must register to Karen Gaither. WHEN: 9:00 a.m.WHAT: Women in International Security (WIIS) at Georgetown University; the State Department's Office of Global Women's Issues; The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University; the International Civil Society Action Network; The Institute for Inclusive Security; The World Bank; Institute for the Study of Diplomacy; Georgetown University; Women for Women International; Peace X Peace; and the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area hold a "Women and War" Conference:- 9:00 a.m.: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen; Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador at large for Global Women's Issues; Netherlands' Ambassador to the United States Renee Jones-Bos; Margot Wallstrom, special representative on sexual violence in conflict at the United Nations; Assistant VA Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs L. Tammy Duckworth; and Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Rule of Law and Humanitarian Policy Rosa Brooks deliver remarks on "Women and War"WHERE: Ritz Carlton, 1150 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Lauren Sucher, 202-429-3822,;%20the%20State%20Department; web site: NOTE: RSVP required. WHEN: 9:30 a.m.WHAT: Foreign Press Center (FPC) Briefing “Analyzing Midterm Elections Results.” Speaker: Professor David Lublin, American University.WHERE: FPC, National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Suite 800CONTACT: RSVP to Alyssa Goodson at or Miriam Rider at or 2020-504-6315; you may also RSVP to our Facebook page at: WHEN: 10:30 a.m.WHAT: Foreign Press Center (FPC) Briefing “A Point of View from the White House: How the Elections Will Affect the Obama Administration’s Agenda.” Speaker: Mike Allen, White House reporter for Politico.WHERE: FPC, National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NW, Suite 800CONTACT: RSVP to Alyssa Goodson at or Miriam Rider at or 2020-504-6315; you may also RSVP to our Facebook page at: 10:30 a.m.WHAT: Voice of America (VOA) Discussion on "Celebrating Reflections of 10 Years of 'Straight Talk Africa' with Shaka Ssali and 'Keep Africa's Hope Alive' into the Future." Speakers: George Ayittey, former distinguished economist-in-residence at American University; Sulayman Nyang, professor at the African Studies Department at Howard University; Emira Woods, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus; and Shaka Ssali, VOA host of "Straight Talk Africa"WHERE: VOA, 330 Independence Avenue SW, Briefing Room 1528-A, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-203-4959; web site: NOTE: RSVP to 202-203-4959 or; the event will be webcast live: 10:30 a.m.WHAT: The Heritage Foundation Discussion on "Safeguarding America's Interests in the South China Seas." Speakers: Marvin Ott, public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center; Bernard Cole, professor at National War College; Dean Cheng, research fellow at the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation; and Walter Lohman, director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage FoundationWHERE: Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Lehrman Auditorium, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-675-1752,; web site: RSVP to 202-675-1752. WHEN: 12:00 p.m.WHAT: The American Gas Association (AGA) Post-Election Briefing. Speakers: Bernadette Budde, Senior Vice President of the Business Industry Political Action Committee; and Charlie Cook, publisher at the Cook Political Report.WHERE: AGA, 400 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-824-7000; web site: NOTE: RSVP to Shirleen Timbers at 202-824-7209 or WHEN: 12:00 p.m.WHAT: The George Washington University (GWU) Elliott School of International Affairs Discussion on "Insecurity in the Gulf," including the al-Qaeda challenge and security calculations around developments with Iran and Iraq. Speakers: Thomas Hegghammer, senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment; F. Gregory Gause III, Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Vermont; Kristin Smith Diwan, assistant professor of comparative and regional studies at American University; and Marc Lynch, Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at GWU.WHERE: GWU Elliott School, 1957 E Street NW, Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-994-8025; web site: RSVP online: WHEN: 12:00 p.m.WHAT: The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) "Election Watch" series event and luncheon, Session VI. Speakers: Michael Barone, John Fortier, Henry Olsen, Norman Ornstein and Karlyn Bowman of AEI.WHERE: AEI, 1150 17th Street NW, Wohlstetter Conference Center, 12th Floor, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Veronique Rodman, 202-862-4871,; web site: Register online: WHEN: 12:15 p.m.WHAT: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) Discussion on "The Heart of the Conflict in the Middle East." Speakers: Saudi Arabian Prince Turki Al-Faisal; and Jessica Mathews of CEIPWHERE: CEIP, 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: Kendra Galante, 202-939-2233,; web site: 3:30 p.m.WHAT: Woodrow Wilson Center (WWC) Discussion on "How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace." Speakers: Author Charles Kupchan; and Martha Finnemore, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University
WHERE: WWC, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC.
CONTACT: 202-691-4000; web site:
WHEN: 5:00 p.m.WHAT: Woodrow Wilson Center (WWC) Discussion with Saeb Erakat, chief negotiator at the Palestine Liberation Organization, and Aaron David Miller, public policy scholar at WWC.WHERE: WWC, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Auditorium, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-691-4000; web site: Media should RSVP to Sharon McCarter at 202-691-4016 or,%20chief%20negotiator%20at%20the%20Palestine%20Liberation%20Organization,%20-%20Event%20
WHEN: 6:00 p.m.WHAT: Joe Madison, host of The Power XM 169-Sirius XM Radio, delivers remarks on "Midterms: Winners, Losers, What's Next."WHERE: Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th Street NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-387-7638 [Note: The event will be broadcast live on SIRIUS XM's The Power XM 169.
**********************************************Friday, November 5, 2010WHEN: 9:00 a.m.
WHAT: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) Discussion on "Foreign Policy Priorities for the New Congress." Speakers: Thomas Donnelly and Danielle Pletka of AEI; William Kristol of the Weekly Standard; and former Rep. Jim Talent, R-Mo., of the Heritage Foundation
WHERE: AEI, 1150 17th Street NW, Wohlstetter Conference Center, 12th Floor, Washington, DC.
CONTACT: Veronique Rodman, 202-862-4871,; web site: NOTE: RSVP:
WHEN: 9:30 a.m.WHAT: Woodrow Wilson Center (WWC) Discussion on “U.S. – China Climate Relations in the Run-Up to Cancun.” Speakers: Jake Schmidt, Natural Resources Defense Council; Teng Fei, Tsinghua University; and Michael Davidson, Natural Resources Defense Council.WHERE: WWC, 5th Floor Conference RoomCONTACT: 202-691-4000; web link: NOTE: RSVP to:
WHEN: 10:00 a.m.
WHAT: Brookings Institution discussion on "What the Midterm Elections Imply for the Next Two Years." Speakers: Thomas Mann, senior fellow of Governance Studies at Brookings; Kemal Dervis, Vice President and Director of Global Economy and Development at Brookings; Ron Haskins, senior fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings; Amy Liu, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program; and Michael O'Hanlon, Director of Research and senior fellow of foreign policy at BrookingsWHERE: Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-797-6105, ; WHEN: 10 a.m.WHAT: Voice of America town hall on "USA Votes 2010." Speakers: Wendy Chamberlin of the Middle East Institute; and Barbara Slavin of the Council on Foreign Relations, participate in a panel discussion on "Diplomacy and Security." Scheherazade Rehman of George Washington University; Callisto Madavo of Georgetown University; and Robert Reich of the University of California at Berkeley (via satellite), participate in a panel discussion on "The Economy." Bill Schneider of Third Way; Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report; and Jennifer Palmieri of the Center for American Progress, participate in a panel discussion on "Looking Ahead to 2010."WHERE: The Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NWCONTACT: Contact: 202-203-4959; web site: NOTE: RSVP to 202-203-4959 or

WHEN: 11:30 a.m. WHAT: The Weekly Standard and the Washington Examiner Post-election discussion. Speakers: William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard; Michael Barone, senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner; Byron York, chief political columnist at the Washington Examiner; and Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard.WHERE: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NWCONTACT: Dan Wilson, 703-739-5920

The Launch of the Swahili Society at SOAS University-London

Uganda president H.E YOWERI MUSEVENI on his way to present his papers to the electoral commission in Kampala

These are pictures and images from nambole stadium in Kamapala as Uganda is preparing to go to polls




FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2010 AT 2:00 P.M. EDT

MODERATOR: Good afternoon and welcome to the Washington Foreign Press Center. With us today are Dan Restrepo, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council; and Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Our topic today is Wall Street Reform, Remittance Providers, and Protecting Consumers. And before I begin, I would like to remind you that it’s important for us to stay on topic today. And our speakers will take questions at the end of the briefing about Wall Street reform, remittance providers, and protecting consumers. We’ll begin with Mr. Restrepo.

MR. RESTREPO: Thank you very much. It’s good to see some familiar faces with us today and thank you all for being here. I’m going to provide a little bit of the context in which remittances occur, and particularly in the Americas, which is the area of my responsibility at the National Security staff.

The President has made very clear in our relationship with countries throughout the world, and particularly here in the Americas, that we want to work as a partner, as a good partner to address the most important issues that are facing countries throughout the region and around the world. And obviously, increasing sustainable and equitable economic growth is one of the pillars that has guided our policy.

And our policy in the Americas – and again, in an increasingly globalized world – is predicated on the interconnections that exist between the United States and countries throughout the Americas and throughout the world. And one of the obvious points of interconnection are remittances, the money, the hard-earned money that family and friends send back to their countries of origin to support their families.

And one of the ways that the Administration has been working – and this was laid out by Secretary Clinton on September 22nd when she signed two memorandums of understanding with El Salvador and with Honduras – to utilize these remittance flows to leverage them into greater support for development, not to interfere in any way with remittances getting from family and friends in the United States to, in this instance, family and friends in countries of El Salvador and Honduras, but rather to partner with strong financial institutions in those two governments – in those two countries, excuse me, through something – an initiative called Building Remittance Investment for Development, Growth, and Entrepreneurship, for BRIDGE by its initials, to use remittance flows to lower financing costs for long-term financing for infrastructure projects, for public works, for microfinance, for entrepreneurs, to build a kind of bottom-up economic growth that is so important in those countries, countries throughout the Americas, and around the world.

And that – encouraging that kind of economic growth is important for the United States as well because it builds more secure communities, more resilient communities, internal markets in those countries, and markets for United States goods and services, which obviously generates jobs here in the United States.

The BRIDGE project – important to understand it will not affect the flow of money from remitter to remittee but will allow in a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, the OPIC here in the United States, USAID, and State to use mechanisms to, again, lower the cost of financing for the kinds of medium-term and long-term finance that is necessary to create the conditions for greater economic and equitable growth in those countries.

One of the things that the President has made clear throughout our relationship with countries in the Americas and elsewhere is that our policies, to be effective, to be the good partner that we are seeking to be with countries in the Americas, needs – these policies need to start at home. We need to live what we are encouraging others to live.

And that, I think, ties us into what my colleague is going to talk about, which is the protection of remitters here in the United States to ensure far greater consumer protections than ever before for the folks who are in – are the interconnection that things like BRIDGE and other projects that – and other partnerships that we are working on with countries in the Americas and around the world to create greater economic and equitable – sustainable economic growth – excuse me, sustainable economic growth. It all begins with the remitter here in the United States.

And with that, I will turn it over to Elizabeth Warren to discuss that and other aspects of Wall Street reform. Thank you.

MS. WARREN: Thank you, Dan. I am here to talk about the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is a new agency in Washington designed to help fix broken consumer credit markets. It’s going to be a cop on the beat for families in this country in their dealings with consumer finance.

The companies – let me just see if I can spin out what the problem is right now. The companies that provide remittances in the United States are not required to price them in advance. Now, I just want you to think for a minute about what that means. This would be as if you bought a television set, you walked in, you pick out the television set you liked, you took it home, you plugged it in, you used it for three weeks, and then later someone, when it was too late to return it, told you how much it was going to cost. It’s pretty tough under those circumstances both to evaluate whether or not you want to do this and whether or not you want to spend that kind of money, and also to make comparisons in the marketplace among products so that you go perhaps to the one that’s less expensive and start driving that market in a way that works for families.

With remittances, you put your money in and take your chances. Money comes out at the other end, but how much money comes out at the other end depends on what kinds of fees and what kinds of exchanges have been added in – things that are not necessarily exposed to the consumer up front.

Now, over the last year and a half, this Administration has made real progress in the areas of consumer finance. And I actually want to start with the CARD Act for just a minute, just so everyone is aware of the comparison. The credit card industry – and credit cards are ubiquitous. We’ve got about eight out of ten American families have a credit card. About 50 million American families can’t pay off their credit card debt and end up rolling it from month to month.

But one of the things that was very worrisome about the credit card market were a number of practices that took place, in effect, behind closed doors that people couldn’t see that profoundly affected the price, and that some information was revealed in the credit card area but not – in our view, not enough. So with the CARD Act, which is one of the first bills that President Obama signed into law, certain practices were simply prohibited, things that were costing money for consumers are just gone.

But one of the features – and I think a really important part of understanding the direction of good regulation was to make the monthly statement on a credit card bill much clearer. And so now, for the first time, any of you who have seen your credit card statement recently – took a little while for this to roll in to law. But if you’ve seen a credit card statement here in the United States, it now says here’s the minimum monthly payment and if you pay it, here’s how much you will pay in interest and how long it will take you to pay off your credit card making minimum monthly payments.

And that’s had a couple of profound effects already. There are a number of families who have looked at that cost and said it’s time for me to shop around. There are also a number of credit providers who have decided to rethink some of their credit charges, so that when one has to tell what the price is up front, it can change the market.

So what we’re hoping for is to build on the success out of something like the CARD Act and the fact that this new consumer agency will work with many different credit products and payment products that families use, and to push in that same direction and to say with remittances people should be able to know up front what it costs, know where all the charges in, the all-in fees for using it. And that way, customers are better informed and we get a market that starts to work for consumers. It’s not a market based on hidden fees, on tricking people on the costs associated with products, but a market based, open and fair, there it is, that’s the price, and let’s see what we can do with it.

Now, I want to point out on this, this is a lot of money. For any of you who have ever sent remittances, you may think, well, it’s a modest market, and it’s true. The average remittance sent from a family here in the United States to a family outside the United States is under $300. But collectively, that’s a hundred billion dollar market annually. There’s a lot of money moving in remittances and we believe if we can make that a more competitive market, a more transparent market, a fairer market for families, some of that money is going to stay with the families instead of draining off to other institutions.

So that’s what this one is about. It’s about making markets work. Families that can understand pricing up front and make comparisons among products and institutions who want to provide products at lower prices now being in a competitive environment that advantages them. So that’s where we’re hitting.

We hope that when families think they’ve been cheated or tricked by a remittance provider that this new consumer agency will be a cop on the beat, someone to listen to the complaint, someone to investigate the complaint, but most of all someone to help make this market work for families.

So that’s mostly what I wanted to talk about, and I think Dan and I are here to answer some questions for you. Actually, I do want to say one more thing while I still get the chance. I’m really pleased you’re here to talk about this issue. I think remittances are one of the credit products, those ways of moving money, that don’t receive a lot of attention and that’s part of the reason that a market has grown up in which the consumers are not getting full and fair information to be able to compete. So I am delighted that this is one of the areas that we’re going to move front and center with this new consumer agency, build on what we’re learning in the credit card area, take it over to the remittance area. So I just want to thank you all for being here too.


MODERATOR: Before we get started, just to remind you, give your news organization, state your name, and then we’ll go to questions. We have Luis.

QUESTION: Hi, I’m Luis Alonso with the AP. For this $100 billion that make that market, how much money do you project to remain with the families instead of going, and by when? Thank you.

MS. WARREN: I wish I could answer the question, Luis. Part of the problem we have is that we know something about the money put in and much less about the money that comes out on the other side, which means the calculation of how much is being drained off in fees and charges is not well known. The advantage to having a new consumer agency is that we will be able to collect systematic data from the providers of financial services, so I’m going to have a lot better answer to that – well, anything would be a better answer, but I will have a better answer to that one.

QUESTION: You don’t even have (inaudible)?

MS. WARREN: I think it would be unwise to speculate here. We just – we don’t have good numbers on this.

QUESTION: By when?

MS. WARREN: So the agency is in the process. It’s a baby agency. We’re in the process of standing this agency up. We will receive what are called our transfer functions – I know that’s – starting on July 21st of 2011, which provides us with an opportunity to engage in certain kinds of rulemaking. We’re not waiting until then to start our work, so we are going to begin the process of collecting data, of talking with the industry, of talking about product design and product disclosure. I am hopeful that that may start to make a difference even sooner.

But we start with the bully pulpit and we move to the period when we will start to have the capacity to force. So we’re in that growth period right now. We’re still hiring up and staffing. I just came to you from an office that we have only been in for four days. So you really have caught us on the front end, but you’ve caught us with the wind at our backs, starting to move.

MR. RESTREPO: Let me add the – one of the things that partnerships like BRIDGE and other financial inclusion and transparency work that’s being done by agencies like USAID, by OPIC, by others in the U.S. Government with partner countries in the Americas and elsewhere is to increase greater transparency, to be able to add to the data that will help answer the question that you just posed to Elizabeth, so we can compare at both input and output these flows to better understand where the money is going.

MODERATOR: Okay, we’re going to go to New York for the next question. Diego.

QUESTION: Yes, this is a question for Dan Restrepo. My name is Diego Senior from Caracol Radio in Colombia. It’s two questions, actually. One of them is if you can tell us about the amount or any number that you have on remittances sent the foreign countries in the Americas, now in the U.S., compared to post-recession.

And the other question is: There’s a group of members of the Obama Administration that are heading to Colombia this very same weekend; they’re going to meet up with members of our government. Can you tell us about what is in their minds and what is in the Obama Administration’s plans to providing our country from now on?

MR. RESTREPO: All right –

QUESTION: Answer in Spanish, please. (Laughter.)

MR. RESTREPO: Well, let me – I’ll do both. Consistent with the ground rules, I’ll answer the first question, which is – approximately, last year, there were almost $60 billion remitted from the United States to countries in the Americas; I believe it’s 59 billion according to World Bank figures. Their – the recession obviously had affected remittance quotes. As the recovery takes place here, we are seeing remittance quotes increase or recover two countries in the Americas and beyond.

And do we want me to do the answer in Spanish as well?

MODERATOR: You can go ahead and respond in Spanish. That’s fine.

MR. RESTREPO: Okay. (In Spanish.)

MODERATOR: Okay, but for the sake of time, for the rest of the questions and the transcript, and so you’ll have more time to ask questions, we’ll do English. So you’ve got one Spanish soundbite.

Jordi, you had a question?

QUESTION: Yeah, thank you, both of you for doing this. But I wonder, you mentioned those initiatives regarding the bank – the bank revelations on – and the credit card statements. I wonder if you have something similar, or are you thinking of something similar regarding remittances? I’d like to know whether there’s any concrete or particular measure that you are already thinking that you could tell us of.

MS. WARREN: What I can tell you is the direction this agency wants to drive in general. And that is, for all credit products, that the cost is clear upfront, that the risks are clear upfront, and that it is easy for a customer to make comparisons among products. If those three features have been met, then markets start to work for consumers, people can make good decisions on their own behalf, and that market will tend to be a better functioning market. And that’s true for remittances, for credit cards, for mortgages, for many products. So that’s at least the direction. I hope that’s helpful.

MODERATOR: Okay. We’re going to go ahead and take another question from New York and we’ll come back to D.C.

QUESTION: Oh, hi. Thanks, Elizabeth and Daniel. I have two questions for you both, respectively. The first question is for Elizabeth. You mentioned this new agency will be very much contributing to protecting the consumer rights. I mean, definitely, this is very welcomed, but as you look into the – at a reflection, where actually, the reaction from the financial institutions given – is there any voice from them saying that this will add up to the cost of their products, of their services? I mean, are they welcoming this or – yeah, and what is your preference, your – I mean, assumption of the ongoing future prognosis of your work being conducted in the next, say, two or three years?

And the question for the Dan is: It’s interesting that the Inter-America scheme to promote business as well as entrepreneurship only – I mean, reinforced by this remittance program. And what exactly is the Inter-American Bank is doing in this? Is this a special tunnel, or channel program, if you will, through – put the remittance together at the – it’s different lump sum of money so that you can use for investment? Or how do you organize that?

Thank you.

MS. WARREN: Well, I’ll just start by saying the financial services industry did not support the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Indeed, their chief lobbyist from the American Bankers Association announced on the front page of the New York Times in August of 2009 that they would kill this agency. And so there was a healthy difference of opinion about whether this agency should go forward.

It, however, became very much, I think, the heart of the financial reform bill, a part that affects the lives of all American families in very direct and tangible ways, and a part that connects to our financial crisis. Had it not been for the terrible mortgages that were fed into the financial system, and that ultimately ended up in mortgage-backed securities and the – that ended up echoing not just around this country, but throughout the worldwide financial system, the entire world would have been in a more stable economic place.

So, the agency is here. We’re starting to put it together. It has good, strong tools on the table. But I should say this, having started with that history, because that is the history that most people think about when they think about this agency – I’ve been reaching out and talking to the CEOs of some of the largest financial services providers, as well as the heads of the smallest community banks around the country. And many of them acknowledge that the consumer credit market is broken, and that we need to find, together, a way to make this market work better, work better for families and work better for those in the industry who want to provide good products in a transparent way at a clear price.

So at this moment, I am actually quite optimistic that there are significant differences that we can make, and I hope that we will be able to make soon.

MR. RESTREPO: To answer your second question, with respect – consistent with how President Obama and this Administration has operated throughout to work as an equal partner in the Americas, we’re working with the Inter-American Development Bank on BRIDGE, as we did with the microfinance growth fund that the President announced at the Summit of the Americas in April of 2009, so that different institutions can bring their expertise, their knowledge, and their resources to bear.

Here, the Inter-American Development Bank is likely to serve as a guarantor of the mechanisms that’ll be used to expand the reach and to leverage the reach of remittance flows. So the bank, as well as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, OPIC, are looking at different mechanisms appropriate to the countries, appropriate to the financial institutions that they are working with in, in this instance, in Honduras, in El Salvador, to ensure the safety of the remittance flows, to ensure that the money gets from the remitter to the remittee, but also helps drive down the costs of medium-term and long-term finance necessary for infrastructure, necessary for public works, and necessary for greater microfinance available in those countries to promote economic development from the bottom up.

MODERATOR: All right. We’re going to go over here to Zoltan. You have a question? And then we’ll go to Francisco.

QUESTION: My question is about the political influence of the (inaudible) of this agency. Is there some hope that there will be – not hoper – or (inaudible) who are against the agency, they will support more the Republican Party than the Democratic Party? Do you not fear that this will all influence also maybe the midterm elections?

MS. WARREN: I don’t know, and I am not the politician in the room. All I can say is that the agency does not have a secure place. It has enemies, both political and economic. There are those who are running for office who have said that they would like to restrict the power of this agency to undercut what it can do on behalf of the American people. And so I think it’s going to be an issue in the sense that there are those who proudly say, “I supported this agency, and helped this agency become law,” and those who are saying, “I didn’t support it, I don’t like it, and I’d like to get rid of it.” So it’s certainly part of the political mix.

MODERATOR: Okay. Francisco?

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) It’s a market – the remittances market has diversified a lot in the last, I don’t know, five years, ten years from Western Union. Many banks have gotten into it. We talked to customers this morning of a bank that specializes in remittances – at least most of their business is in that, it’s a foreign bank. And they seemed satisfied with the level of what they call clarity, or of the fees, that they were well explained, that they didn’t see – that they had a clear idea of the money that they were putting in, how much was coming out on their end.

So, the – my question is: Is there any sense of the degree or variation of how different banks are doing this at this moment?

MS. WARREN: I think this really goes back to the information question. In an area in which disclosures are not required, the variability is – among the costs and kinds of services is high. Part of the function of this agency is to bring that to light and, in part, to let customers know the key pieces of information so that they can make better decisions, and in part to get markets working better.

So, we – this is part of the problem. We can’t document how much variety we have, because we don’t really have a good sense of all of the practices in this area. And it would serve no one well for me to stand here and tell anecdotes about difficulties that families have faced. And – but nonetheless, we can’t ignore those anecdotes. And that’s really the point. We can’t live in a world in which people put their money in and hope that they will be charged only fair fees, and that most of the money will make it to their loved ones in another country. We can do better than that, and we should do better than that.

MODERATOR: Thanks for your question, Fernando. Carlos?

QUESTION: Hi, Carlos Chirinos from BBC Spanish. This is a question for Dan. What connection do you make between remittances, the way the industry works, and the national security, which I understand is your business, no? Do you see any area of concern there?

MR. RESTREPO: Well, I think the connection, if you will, is one of the points that I made at the top, that the President has been guided by the premise that – in the Americas, that what’s good for the people in the Americas is good for the United States. And one area where that is particularly true is where there is greater sustainable, equitable economic growth that creates greater security in communities.

And, obviously, there is a security challenge in many countries in the Americas today. It creates greater economic opportunity and, therefore, economic activity in internal markets, but also markets for U.S. products, which helps in terms of the U.S. national security, because the strength of our economy is an important part of our national security. So this is – and because remittances are such a part of the connection between the United States and countries – particularly Mexico, Central America, but well into South America and the Caribbean, $59 billion of connectivity between people in the United States and people outside the United States necessarily implicates the well-being of the United States and the interests of the United States throughout the region.

So, the more we can both make this transparent here at home – because our policies and our attitude of partnership begins at home, that we can conduct ourselves in a positive and transparent manner here – that also has a very important signaling mechanism to our partners throughout the region to create better conditions in societies throughout the Americas, which ultimately speaks to our national security.

MODERATOR: Okay. Sonia, you had a question?

QUESTION: Thank you. Sonia Schott with Globovision, Venezuela. I am sorry if you already explained that, because I came so late. So I understand that this is a domestic initiative, but will have an impact internationally with other countries. I would like to know who is setting the rules, and if you have been in touch with other countries trying to reach an agreement or anything like that to work better to moving into the future. Thank you.

MS. WARREN: So, we have – as I was explaining earlier, we are only in our offices – this is our fourth day in our offices. So we are just getting started with this new agency. But this is about when people in the United States hand their money to those who issue remittances. And we have, with this new agency, full jurisdiction to supervise that transaction, and to insist on a level of disclosure and transparency that has not been present before.

So, that’s where we’re headed. We want –

QUESTION: Here? I mean --

MS. WARREN: That’s right, “Here.” We want – if someone is taking $250 from someone in the United States and planning to send it to Mexico, we, here in the United States, through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, want the fees and charges associated with that to be made clear, upfront to the person who is giving the $250. That’s what this is about.

MR. RESTREPO: And to add to that, to – I think, having missed the top, we’re talking about two aspects of the equation – the equation Elizabeth just described, in terms of what her agency and the consumer protections here in the United States for remitters, but the United States Government, also understanding that there is a real opportunity to partner with countries elsewhere to ensure that these flows both get to the recipient, but also that they can be utilized by banks in – for the examples that I have been using today, because of the BRIDGE memorandum of understandings are with El Salvador and with Honduras, to utilize in those systems to lower long-term lending costs so that those governments and private sectors are in a position to finance infrastructure – so the roads built for products to get to market – for public works, for greater electrification, for example, or clean water, and for creating microfinance opportunities for entrepreneurs in those countries.

This is the BRIDGE that was – these two memoranda of understanding that were announced by Secretary Clinton – or were signed by Secretary Clinton on September 22nd on the margins of the UN General Assembly are what we hope to be the beginning of a process, both with those partners, and potentially with other partners in the Americas and beyond, to leverage or to better utilize these remittance flows without affecting what reaches people, but better utilize them for helping build and sustain bottom-up economic growth.

MODERATOR: Follow-up, real quick follow-up, and then we will go to Antonieta.

QUESTION: Do you expect this initiative will have any impact in immigration or illegal immigration in the United States?

MR. RESTREPO: I believe, in the case of – I will speak directly to the BRIDGE, Honduras and El Salvador, to – where in both countries, President Funes and President Lobo have spoken of the importance of building vibrant and sustainable communities in those countries to give the opportunity to Salvadorians and Hondurans to live out their dreams in El Salvador and Honduras. Greater economic growth, bottom-up in these societies, will help achieve the goal that those presidents have set for themselves in their countries.

MODERATOR: Antonieta.

QUESTION: Hi. Antonieta Cadiz, with La Opinion. Elizabeth, besides the changes that we have already seen that Fernando mentioned, are there any more changes that the agency is thinking to put in place in the future for remittance senders? I mean more disclosure, changes, or, you know, analyze how the system works and then incorporate different kind of aspects to the system?

And then on BRIDGE, I was wondering – my sense is that this is just a starting, that everybody is discussing, and see what everybody can do on this. So I was wondering if you have any timeline in terms of future sets on the BRIDGE.

MS. WARREN: So we will start with better information about what’s happening throughout the remittance world. One of the things I like best about this new consumer agency is that it is authorized by statute to collect information from the various service providers.

So we’re going to get a much better handle on how that market works. And when we are sure that we understand this market fully, then we will start to design what are ways to make it work better for families. And part of that will mean doing it, I hope, cooperatively, both with the communities that are affected and with the financial services providers, but always remembering, thanks to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the financial reform bill, there are tools to compel, if that’s necessary.

This is a voice on behalf of consumers who use financial products, a way to level the playing field. That’s our job. And so we will start with data. We’ll see what we can work out. And, if necessary, we move to rules. But we are going to protect American families.

MR. RESTREPO: You are correct that we are at the beginning, or in the early stages of the BRIDGE project. A great deal of work went into – at the front end of analyzing the financial institutions and the structures, both in El Salvador and Honduras, to understand that they – to make good partners, and to understand how we were entering into this process.

Signing the memorandum of understanding was a very important step in that process. Work continues. One of the nice things about BRIDGE is that it’s built upon a proven concept. You’ve seen successful use of remittance flows to lower lending costs in Brazil for development projects, in El Salvador itself, through some work of the Inter-American Development Bank, in Peru, other places in the Americas, in India, and beyond.

So, it is a proven concept. So we are confident that we will be able to move out fairly quickly, now that the memoranda of understandings have been signed, and the governments – the three governments and the two bilaterals – are working, as we speak, to continue to bring this into fruition, and to reach out. Again, this is a public-private partnership. This is working with financial institutions in these countries. And we will go as fast as we can, because we see a real opportunity here to utilize, in a positive fashion, the interconnection that exists between the United States and El Salvador and Honduras, and to continue building that out into other partnerships and similar partnerships in the Americas and beyond.

MODERATOR: Okay. We have time for a couple more questions. Macarena, you’ve had your hand up for a while. Wait for the microphone, please.

QUESTION: Yes, Macarena Vidal, from EFE news services. This is a question for Dan, and actually a follow-up on the question from Antonieta. You’ve mentioned that you would like to expand bridge. I was thinking – I was wondering whether you have any particular countries you would like to expand it with, and what would be the conditions to expand it.

MR. RESTREPO: Yes, I think the – to not get ahead of ourselves, we do want to move forward with the countries that have been identified, and the memoranda of understanding are in place, so – with El Salvador, with Honduras – to get that up and running as fast as possible, and as responsibly as possible. As I said, this is built upon a proven concept. But each situation has its own intricacies, and we want to make sure we get that right.

At the same time, we’re continuing to – and partners throughout the U.S. Government at the State Department, at USAID, at OPIC and elsewhere are looking at other opportunities that – and I don’t want to prejudge those, but – because those processes are underway, but there are other countries that are being looked at, other countries that have expressed interest, having seen the memoranda of understanding that have been signed between the United States and El Salvador, between the United States and Honduras, other countries are also coming to us, expressing an interest and seeing how we can do this or similar activities with them.

And we are going to continue to look at those and move out with them as quickly as we can, ensuring that we are doing it in a way that is protective of these flows, and that maximizes the development growth and entrepreneurial opportunities that can come from this kind of work.

MODERATOR: Okay. Last question. Silvia.

QUESTION: Hi, I’m Silvia Pisani with La Nacion in Argentina. This is a question for Dan.

Dan, I understand that when we talk about remittances, we are mainly speaking about a small amount of money. But by any chance is there any link or any concern about this – that this lack of information, or this lack of transparency by any chance can help the money laundering, or nothing to do with it?

MR. RESTREPO: As Elizabeth noted, the average remittance – average remitter is a very small amount. It obviously adds up to large sums of money – in the case of the Americas in 2009, nearly $60 billion.

We are always vigilant and there are parts of the U.S. Government that are working very hard with our partners throughout the region, not in looking at remittance flows, but looking at the financial system to ensure that the financial system is not being taken advantage of by transnational criminal organizations, and, to the extent that it is, that we are working in partnership with countries throughout the Americas and around the world to shut those flows down. It is an essential part of being – of assuming our responsibility in combating transnational criminal organizations to cut off their money.

And there are lots of folks in the United States Government at the Department of the Treasury and elsewhere who are dedicated to working those issues to ensure that the – our financial system is not being exploited by illegal groups, and that our borders are not being exploited by illegal groups moving money in bulk in cash. That is a responsibility of this government, one that President Obama has taken very seriously, and one that we will continue to increase our efforts on. But we view those as separate tasks from protecting consumers on remittances, and working to leverage remittance flows for economic growth and development in countries in the Americas and beyond.

MODERATOR: Okay, I would like to thank everybody for coming today. We appreciate you being here. And thank you to our briefers for being with us and spending so much time. Thanks.


Saturday, 30 October 2010

572 Models of 10-12 week old babies to be laid out opposite Parliament to Commemorate the 43rd Anniversary of the Abortion Act 572 models of 10-12 week old babies will tomorrow, 27th October 2010, from 12:00 to 13:00 be laid out in Old Palace Yard, opposite the Houses of Parliament, to commemorate the 43rd Anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act.

Since the Act came into force in 1967, over 7,000,000 babies have died, with over 200,000 now being aborted every year in clinics in the UK, averaging 572* a day!

This act of remembrance will take the form of a vigil and has been organised by Christian Concern, on behalf of the churches. Nearby, at 13.15 at the Emmanuel Centre, the former Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd Michael Nazir-Ali will lead and speak at a Service of Lament.

The Africa Centre and the Centre for African Studies present

Nollywood: Beyond the Video Boom

A discussion on Nigeria ’s film and video industry & screenings
FRIDAY 29 October, 6pm @ SOAS, Room G3

In 2009, Nollywood - Nigeria ’s film and video industry- officially became the second largest producer of films in
the world, overtaking Hollywood but remaining behind Bollywood. Nollywood produces up to 2,000 low
budget films a year, which are consumed worldwide by Africans and non-Africans alike and the industry’s
global popularity keeps expanding.
However, Nigeria ’s movie industry at home finds itself at a critical cross-road. Dominated by an informal
economy and a straight-to-video distribution strategy which does not benefit the producers or directors of the
films, Nollywood is facing a crisis. What is the future for Nollywood? Already, new economic and distribution
strategies are emerging and the industry is changing, preparing to have a bigger stake in the world cinema
Our panel of speakers will look at the new tendencies in Nollywood while exploring the reasons behind the
industry’s paradoxical situation: its current crisis at home and its increasing popularity abroad.
This event will also screen a documentary on Nollywood (Welcome to Nollywood) and a “Nollywood-in-
London” film (Whirlwind at Millbank) directed by one of our panel speakers, Adekunle Detokunbo-Bello.

Adekunle Detokunbo-Bello – academic and Nollywood actor and director.
Moses Babatope – special projects manager for Nollywood at the Odeon Cinema in Greenwich .
Alessandro Jedlowski – PhD student at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” writing his thesis on Nollywood.

Event programme:
18:00: Arrival
18:15: Screening of Welcome to Nollywood documentary by Jemie Meltzer
19:15: Panel discussion
20:00: Screening of Whirlwind at Millbank
20:15: Q&A with director Adekunle Detokunbo-Bello

Room G3, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS)
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square , London WC1H 0XG

THIS EVENT IS FREE. To reserve your place, please email

A Press Statement issued by the Ministry of
Information has exposed the UN Food and Agriculture

Organization’s (FAO) statement
that famine and starvation is
mounting at the global level. It is
shameful that lie-disseminating
networks posted such a claim in
which media outlets subsequently
reported as it is and have tried to place Eritrea among
the ranks of those countries hard-hit by famine.
The Press Statement indicated that the shameful
blackmail has come at a time when Eritrea is reaping
bumper harvest in 2010 and has succeeded in ensuring
reliable food supply for 2011. It further stated that
although Eritrea has not yet achieved a lasting food
security, it has been ages since it freed itself from the
‘club’ of food aid seekers. (For full details of the
Statement refer
President hold talks with Yemeni Foreign Minister
President Isaias Afwerki on 21 October 2010 received
and held talks with the Yemeni Foreign Minister, Dr.
Abubaker Abdalla Al-
Khurbi. During the
meeting at the State
Palace, the Yemeni
official delivered a
message to President
Isaias from President Ali
Abdalla Saleh of Yemen.
The message concerns the special relations existing
between Eritrea and Yemen and highlights the need for
fostering cooperation and coordination on the part of
the two sisterly countries. (
Eritrea and Saudi Arabia cooperation agreement
Eritrea and Saudi Arabia concluded a cooperation
agreement on 19 October 2010.
The accord was signed by Foreign Minister Osman
Saleh on the Eritrean side, and Dr. Nezar Bin Ubied
Medeni, Minister of State in the Saudi Foreign
Ministry, on the side of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the
two Ministers conducted extensive discussion on
strengthening bilateral relations in diverse sectors.
Seminar For Eritreans In Jeddah And Riyadh
The Eritrean Foreign Minister, Mr. Osman Saleh,
conducted seminars for nationals residing in Jeddah
and Riyadh regarding the objective situation in the
Homeland as well as the ongoing development
endeavours. During the seminar Mr. Osman
commended the contribution of the Eritrean
communities towards the national development drive,
and called on them to enhance their participation.
The Eritrean Festivals in Jeddah and Riyadh were
conducted in patriotic zeal. (
Donation for Education in nomadic lifestyle
The Sudanese Council for Educational Development
regarding nomadic lifestyle extended material donation
to Eritrean counterpart on 21 October 2010 at the
town of Arbateasher. The donation was made in line
with the agreement reached between the Eritrean
Ministry of Education and the Sudanese institution.
The donation would make due contribution in the
Eritrea endeavors to develop educational opportunity
for nationals leading a nomadic lifestyle.
The donation includes a full set of educational material
to 1,000 students, 50 mobile solar energy devices and
30 tents for conducting classes in areas inhabited by
nationals leading a nomadic pattern of life.
Promoting Women's Participation: NUEW
The NUEW (National Union of Eritrean Women)
conducted its 1st congress on October 22 in which the